The Bangladeshi government is planning a new anti-terrorism law following a spate of deadly bombings blamed on militants trying to make this impoverished nation into an Islamic state, the law minister said Wednesday. "The existing laws are not enough to deal with this type of violence. We need a new anti-terrorism law," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed said in an interview with private TV station ATN Bangla.
Ahmed said the new law would boost the maximum sentence from 10 years in prison to death for those convicted of involvement in terrorist acts. Special tribunals would be set up for speedy trials, he said. "What we are planning is a comprehensive law to tackle terrorism," Ahmed said. He said the legislation would cover everyone from those who "encourage, motivate, provide training and money to those who are involved in the terrorist acts."
Bangladesh has been shaken by a string of bombings blamed on banned Islamic group Jumatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which wants to replace the Muslim-majority Bangladesh's secular laws with harsh Islamic rule. At least 22 people have been killed and scores wounded in bombings across the country since end November, reports the AP. I.L.